Specific DNA allowed to resist infectious agents.
Scientists at the Stanford University (USA) found that genes that were acquired by modern humans from Neanderthals, given the first line of defense against viruses. This explains why DNA of archaic people remained in the genome of Homo sapiens until now.
It is known that two percent of the genome of Europeans and Asians consist of Neanderthal DNA, indicating interbreeding between the two species. The first contacts between them probably occurred about one hundred thousand years ago when Homo sapiens left Africa. By the time the Neanderthals lived outside of the African continent for hundreds of thousands of years, and their immune system well adapted to the viruses in Europe and Asia.
The researchers analyzed the nucleotide sequence of more than 4,500 human genes that are associated with protection against viruses, matched against the DNA fragments of a Neanderthal. It was revealed 152 section of DNA that were present in the genomes of both species.
Scientists have shown that the proteins encoded by inherited genes from Neanderthals that can interact with these RNA-containing viruses such as HIV, influenza A and hepatitis C. Specific DNA allowed to resist infectious agents, when modern humans left Africa and began to develop Eurasia.
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